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Science and Theology since Copernicus Hardcover – 1 Jan 2004


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  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. (1 Jan 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 056708969X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0567089694
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 2.3 x 22.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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"I found his treatments of both sciences [physics and biology] equally and admirably clear, economical and accurage. The same excellences are present in his treament of philosophy of science, and most of those of theology...This pacy little book... abounds in insights.." ESSSAT-News March 2005--Sanford Lakoff "Esssat News "

About the Author

Peter Barrett is Associated Professor of Physics, University of Natal, Durban.

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By Dr. H. A. Jones TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 July 2012
Format: Paperback
Science and Theology since Copernicus: The search for understanding by Peter Barrett, T&T Clark, London & New York, 2004, 216 ff.

This book is divided into five sections that chart the rise of science since the days of Copernicus and discuss how these discoveries have impacted on visions of the divine in theism, deism and atheism. The author has now retired but was formerly an Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa.

In the days of Copernicus, Galileo and Newton what we now know as science was called natural philosophy and its practitioners were regarded as philosophers. `Scientists' studied the natural world to try to uncover ideas in the `Mind of God' in His planning of natural laws. This idea, and an account of how `Science and Christianity' has steadily broadened into `Science and Spirituality' as a subject of study, Barrett discusses in his opening chapter.

Chapter Two then works through the early astronomers and physicists - from Copernicus to Newton - who contributed to this revolution in thought and discusses how it impacted on the Age of Discovery and the subsequent Industrial Revolution. Chapter Three continues the story but now focusses on the life sciences, from Linnaeus to Darwin, and James Hutton and Charles Lyell's contribution to geology.

In Chapter Four, The Evolving Universe, Barrett moves swiftly from Classical Physics to The New Physics and quantum mechanics and cosmology. A survey of Complexity Theory and the role of chaos leads us back in to biology, with a dip into the Anthropic Principle. The final section in Chapter Five finally gets to grips with the theological implications of what has gone before.
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Amazon.com: 1 review
An excellent history of science 23 July 2012
By Dr. H. A. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Science and Theology since Copernicus: The search for understanding by Peter Barrett, T&T Clark, London & New York, 2004, 216 ff

This book is divided into five sections that chart the rise of science since the days of Copernicus and discuss how these discoveries have impacted on visions of the divine in theism, deism and atheism. The author has now retired but was formerly an Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa.

In the days of Copernicus, Galileo and Newton what we now know as science was called natural philosophy and its practitioners were regarded as philosophers. `Scientists' studied the natural world to try to uncover ideas in the `Mind of God' in His planning of natural laws. This idea, and an account of how `Science and Christianity' has steadily broadened into `Science and Spirituality' as a subject of study, Barrett discusses in his opening chapter.

Chapter Two then works through the early astronomers and physicists - from Copernicus to Newton - who contributed to this revolution in thought and discusses how it impacted on the Age of Discovery and the subsequent Industrial Revolution. Chapter Three continues the story but now focusses on the life sciences, from Linnaeus to Darwin, and James Hutton and Charles Lyell's contribution to geology.

In Chapter Four, The Evolving Universe, Barrett moves swiftly from Classical Physics to The New Physics and quantum mechanics and cosmology. A survey of Complexity Theory and the role of chaos leads us back in to biology, with a dip into the Anthropic Principle. The final section in Chapter Five finally gets to grips with the theological implications of what has gone before.

Calling on the work of cosmologist George Ellis, Barrett unfortunately links his discussion to Christianity. How much more powerful this book would have been if Barrett had confined himself to a universal theism. Amit Goswami has shown us how much modern physics resonates with Hinduism, and the Dalai Lama finds a close affinity between quantum physics and non-theistic Buddhism. But the discussion of the science in the first four chapters is excellent and provides a fine introduction for the non-scientist, interspersed as it is with a little theology.

Howard Jones is the author of The Thoughtful Guide to God

Creative Evolution: A Physicist's Resolution Between Darwinism and Intelligent Design by Amit Goswami
The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
God Chance and Necessity by Keith Ward
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